OXNARD, Calif. -- Wearing sunglasses over the right eye injury he suffered in a paintball accident before training camp, second-year linebacker Damien Wilson is waiting patiently to be cleared for practice after starting camp on the non-football injury (NFI) list.
"It is disappointing because I had planned to pick up where I left off (this offseason)," Wilson said, "but I guess I have to postpone it. I'm going to stay in shape so when I do come back I can pick up where I left off."
Wilson explained the cause of the injury that occurred two Fridays ago: he had already been eliminated from a paintball game, took off his protective helmet and accidentally got struck in the eye by a stray paintball.
His absence to start camp is magnified by Rolando McClain starting camp on the Reserve/Did Not Report list and second-round pick Jaylon Smith also on the NFI list as he continues to rehab the knee injury he suffered in his final college game at Notre Dame. For depth, the Cowboys signed veteran Justin Durant in mid-July and two more linebackers, Darius Eubanks and Henoc Muamba, on Saturday.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones estimated Wilson could return to practice in approximately 10 days barring any complications.
"We really felt great about the offseason Damien had at that "Mike" position as well," Jones said. "It's a shame he got a little injury there but hopefully he'll be back in short order."